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Perfectionistic, sad, poor self concept, difficulty moving past challenges, mid-elementary

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http://www.pbisworld.com/tier-2/social-stories/. You could go over this social story with just this child or the whole class. You could even this student be the leader who reads it to/with the class. This would be a daily thing and could even be done with the child multiple times each day. If there were specific times when the student engaged in the problem behaviors the most, like math, for example, you could have the student read the social story with you really quick before beginning math. \n\nYou could consider even just reminding the child right before times when they demonstrate the problem behaviors that its okay to get stuck or skip an item and come back and they need to work on being calm and moving on when/if it happens. This could be a constant reminder before each academic subject lesson or work period. \n\nFor some students, a physical or tangible gesture or action can help them to move forward. For example, have the student write their worry or frustration on a tissue then flushing that down the toilet. After this, the worry or frustration is gone and cannot be spoken of. This could also be done writing on a paper, then tearing it up and throwing it away. \n\nFor all the strategies above, make sure to present them to the student, explain them and have the student repeat back so you know they understand it, then practice it with the student to make sure they know how to do it."}" data-sheets-userformat="{"2":961,"3":{"1":0},"9":0,"10":1,"11":4,"12":0}">Presenting Behavior:
Please describe the behavior:
Down on self, low self esteem, if student does not get a concept easily thinks they are dumb and becomes really hard on self. If student cannot do something perfect tends to give up. Never smiles, looks unhappy frequently. Student is a perfectionist and generally negative.

How old is the student?
Middle elementary

Where and when does the behavior occur?
In any subject

Frequency and duration of behavior?
Daily

What happens before and after behavior?
Takes the student a long time to forget afterwards

What does the student get from engaging in the behavior?
Teacher encouragement and positive praise.

What is the emotional state of the student during the behavior?
Sad in general. Has become self destructive.

Who is the behavior directed at?
Self

Is the behavior intentional or involuntary?
Unsure

Relevant health and mental health conditions?
None

Medication side effects?
None

Student strengths and interests?
Average student

Possible Interventions:
I've had numerous students like this at all levels, primary and secondary. This is a behavior/personality trait that is tough to combat. On one hand it is good that the student wants to do well and is concerned about getting and understanding concepts, but it's to an extreme degree, which is bad.

One idea may be implementing structured breaks to attempt to stop the cycle before it begins. For example, either the student or the teacher would recognize the cycle, give a cue, and the student would go to a specified spot to take a short break, returning to their seat and work after. The cue could be a gesture, word, motion, break card, etc. During the break, the student could either just sit or perhaps you could teach the student a script to say to their self while in break, like "I know I can figure this out, my brain just needs a break". If you do a structured break, be sure to formalize the process, specifying where the break will be taken, how it will be initiated, how the student is to walk to the break (quietly, walk no run, etc), and exactly what the student will do during the break (sit quietly with head down, say script to self in head, etc). And be sure to practice this procedure with the student before officially implementing it. The script you want the student to say to their self could be written on a paper and remain at the break location as a reminder of what they are to do.

In general, teaching the student scripts to say to their self could be helpful. You could write a list of several scripts on a paper and have the student keep it at their desk or somewhere they can easily see and access it. The student could be taught that when they feel a certain way, frustrated or whatever, they should look at their list, choose a script, and say it to their self in their head 5 times, then go back to work. Scripts could be things like, "I know I'll get this, I just need to be patient and keep trying hard", or "If I don't get this now, I will later for sure. I'll keep trying until I do." or "It's okay if I don't get this the first time, I'll go on to something else and come back to this, then I'll probably get it.", etc. The student could initiate saying these to their self on their own or the teacher could give the student a cue when they see the student beginning to get frustrated or upset, which would indicate to the student they need to utilize their scripts.

Other ideas could include teaching the student to try things 2 or 3 times and then move on to the next question. They would then come back to the ones they had trouble with when they got to the end of the assignment. This could be taught and cued by the teacher as well, when the teacher sees the student getting frustrated of upset. The cue could be a gesture, motion, word, etc.

If the student has trouble moving on, it could be helpful to break their work into small chunks to compartmentalize those items they get stuck on. For example, on a math assignment, using one page for one problem, such that if they get stuck on a math problem and start getting upset and frustrated, they put that one problem aside and move to the next, or the teacher cues them to put that page aside and go to another page. This may help the student to mentally block out that perceived failure more when moving on, as the next problem is like a new beginning because its on its own page and disassociated with the one they "failed" on. Each item becomes a new chance to succeed. This could also be used at the end of an assignment, where the student could see the stack of problems they did figure out is much larger than the stack they got stuck on. Be careful this does not backfire though, the comparing the stacks thing. Don't point thais part out about the stacks if the stack of problems they got stuck on is larger than the ones they did not.

It may be helpful to create social stories for the student. You might consider making a social story about how its okay to get stuck on problems and everyone does or whatever you think the child needs the most help with. Here is info on how to make social stories, you might find one about this topic in the resources and supports list at the bottom of the page: http://www.pbisworld.com/tier-2/social-stories/. You could go over this social story with just this child or the whole class. You could even this student be the leader who reads it to/with the class. This would be a daily thing and could even be done with the child multiple times each day. If there were specific times when the student engaged in the problem behaviors the most, like math, for example, you could have the student read the social story with you really quick before beginning math.

You could consider even just reminding the child right before times when they demonstrate the problem behaviors that its okay to get stuck or skip an item and come back and they need to work on being calm and moving on when/if it happens. This could be a constant reminder before each academic subject lesson or work period.

For some students, a physical or tangible gesture or action can help them to move forward. For example, have the student write their worry or frustration on a tissue then flushing that down the toilet. After this, the worry or frustration is gone and cannot be spoken of. This could also be done writing on a paper, then tearing it up and throwing it away.

For all the strategies above, make sure to present them to the student, explain them and have the student repeat back so you know they understand it, then practice it with the student to make sure they know how to do it.

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